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Press Release

Partnership Aims to Create Path for Success for Girls of Color in Columbus, Ohio Public Schools

Education stakeholders pledge collaboration to address gender disparities and build inclusive environment
Published: November 17, 2021

WASHINGTON — The National Education Association today announced a joint partnership with the Ohio Education Association, Columbus Education Association, Columbus Public Schools, Columbus City Preparatory School for Girls, and Dr. Monique Morris, author, filmmaker and social activist, with the stated goal to address gender disparities and build an inclusive environment for girls of color. The collaboration among the stakeholders aims to use proven models and to provide training, resources, and tools to help parents, educators, and the community continue to ensure student success.

“The partnership among the National Education Association, Ohio Education Association, the Columbus Education Association, Columbus City Schools, and Dr. Monique Morris will go a long way towards ensuring that all students – no matter their race or place – have access to a high-quality education, safe and welcoming schools, and the support they need to succeed,” said NEA President Becky Pringle. “More to the point, by working together, we can ensure girls of color in Columbus schools have the engaging learning materials, up-to-date approaches needed, and emotional supports to set up our students for life. When we join together—families, educators and community leaders—we can create learning environments where every student can learn and grow. We look forward to a robust and rewarding partnership for our students.”

Dr. Morris will spearhead this timely initiative with the support of the NEA, OEA, and CEA, working with local teachers, community members, and students to develop programming that reflects the needs unique to Columbus City schools. A model program is already underway at Columbus City Preparatory School for Girls“I am excited and looking forward to this partnership with the educator community in Columbus to more deeply explore how we cultivate learning spaces that ensure equity for Black girls and all students,” said Dr. Monique Morris. 

“The partnership between NEA, Ohio Education Association, Columbus Education Association, Columbus City Schools, Dr. Monique Morris and my school, Columbus City Preparatory School for Girls (CCPSG), demonstrates a community commitment to engage in the necessary work of building an inclusive school environment for girls of color,” said Columbus City Preparatory School for Girls principal Shannon Tucker. “This work could lead to dismantling systemic racism and gender disparities within our schools that limit the learning opportunities, leadership aspirations, and skill development associated with girls of color. As a school administrator, I believe this partnership will help CCPSG and Columbus City Schools learn how to create learning environments that respect and build on students’ gender and cultural backgrounds.”

“I am extremely excited to continue the work of providing black and brown girls safe and nurturing environments in schools where they can thrive to their fullest potential,” said Dr. Stephanie Patton, Principal Leadership Coach, Columbus City Schools and former Principal of Columbus Prep School for Girls. “The Columbus City Schools partnership with Dr. Monique Morris, the National Education Association, the Ohio Education Association, and the Columbus Education Association will benefit these students greatly and will set a precedence of collaboration for student success and well-being.”

“As someone whose daily work focuses on equity, it is both timely and relevant for Columbus City Schools to be in partnership with Dr. Monique Morris. The work we are doing across the district to support young people of color will be greatly supplemented by focusing on and understanding the unique experiences of black and brown girls in our school communities. The additional collaboration with the National Education Association (NEA) Ohio Education Association, and the Columbus Education Association (CEA) will help ensure that our teachers receive the support they need in order to better meet the needs of our girls of color, and ensure their success well beyond their time with us," said Dr. Dionne A. Blue, Chief Equity Officer, Columbus City Schools. 

“The history of CEA, starting with the merging of ‘The Women’s Teachers’ Association’ in 1925, had a mission to enlighten society and build the profession. The CEA today continues to strive for uniformity and continues to build upon that history,” said John Coneglio, President, Columbus Education Association. “Decades later, we are being called upon to assist in another mission to enlighten society and the education field by collaborating with Dr. Monique Morris, the National Education Association, Ohio Education Association, and Columbus City Schools, to address equity for girls of color.  Through the spirit of solidarity that continually guides and unifies our union we offer that spirit in supporting these young women by partnering to create a learning environment and society free of systemic racism. 

About the Ohio Education Association

OEA represents more than 121,000 teachers, faculty members and support professionals who work in Ohio’s schools, colleges, and universities to help improve public education and the lives of Ohio’s children. OEA members provide a wide range of professional education services in communities throughout the state.

About Dr. Monique Morris

Monique W. Morris, Ed.D. is an award-winning author and social justice scholar with three decades of experience in the areas of education, civil rights, juvenile and social justice. In April 2020, Dr. Morris became the inaugural Executive Director of Grantmakers for Girls of Color, a philanthropic collaborative that supports a world in which all girls and young women of color are healthy, safe, thriving, and fully empowered to dream and shape their desired reality on their terms, while dismantling structural barriers created by racism, sexism and ageism and other forms of oppression that prevent their full participation in our country’s future.

About the Columbus Education Association

The Columbus Education Association (CEA)is a union representing more than 4,000 teachers and education professionals in Columbus City Schools. CEA is a proud affiliate of the Ohio Education Association and National Education Association.

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing nearly 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, educational support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers. Learn more at



National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.